This week's Answer:
Jeffrey, as much as I sympathize with
you about wanting to show your directorial abilities in
your scripts, truly, it’s best not to.
An older style of screenwriting used to incorporate
camera directions (and, who knows:
maybe that detailed technique may return again),
but, currently, that style is no longer favored in the
film industry. In fact, it is shunned and generally not appreciated
in the least. Let
me let you in on a little secret that may floor you as it
did me when I was made privy to it:
Producers, on a whole, don’t like to read.
Here’s another strange, but often true fact:
Readers (story analysts) like to read as
little as possible. To
get them to even consider your screenplay, you want their
eyes (and often mushy-from-too-much reading minds) to be
able to glide down your pages, taking in the story
as smoothly and quickly as possible.
As much as I personally like to see the whole
picture and enjoy knowing how the camera is eyeing the
action, they, as a rule, do not.
(Anything extraneous, such as camera direction,
gets in the way of them finishing their assignment and
getting out to the pool before the sun goes down.)
Be that as it may, I say explore your
directorial world and, if you choose, in order to not
hamper but enhance your creative process, write your first
draft with as many camera directions as you desire.
Just be sure to take them out when you compose your
last draft for those who aren’t as “camera
save that first draft because what you may have
there and what you will definitely want if or when you
direct your film is... a shooting script.
If you do need to show a specific perspective in
your script, what is accepted and often used is the
pronoun “we,” which can be substituted for the word
“camera,” (which you definitely do not want to use.
A big no-no at this time.)
1) We move (or “push”) into the prison cell
through the bars. 2)
We’re looking through the eyes of the killer as he/she
opens the creaky door with gloved hands and steps into the
dark attic. 3)
As blackness turns to gray and then to a light blue,
we’re looking straight up into a bright, blue sky.
I hope that helps.
Before I sign off... (CAMERA pulls back and dollies
along DcH’s office, displaying a less than organized yet
erudite workspace. CAMERA
PUSHES IN on DcH’s nimble fingers clacking away at the
keyboard and PANS up to his intense visage, a man on a
mission to help screenwriting mankind overcome-- That’s
probably enough there)... I just want to say that it is
important to nourish that director in you because it is my
belief that there’s a shooting script in each of us.